The Port of Waterford Company Building was built in 1785 for the Morris family of Rossduff to the designs of Waterford’s famous Georgian architect John Roberts. It was acquired by the Chamber of Commerce in 1815 to be used as the headquarters for the city’s busy port and was renovated inside to include one of the most exquisite cantilevered oval staircases. Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and has always been one of the main gateways to Ireland for people and ideas since prehistoric times. The Vikings established Ireland’s first town here and by the medieval times it had become a cosmopolitan, sophisticated and prosperous city based on its monopoly on the export trade of wool, hides, grain, iron, salt, wine and luxury goods such as figs, dates and silk. In the 18th and 19th centuries the port expanded and by about 1800 Waterford was a booming global port with a global trading network of 400 ports and also had the biggest shipbuilding yard in Ireland.